Kabataan Party-list Member Foils Abduction Attempt
As the election nears,
the harassment of progressive party-list members is intensifying. Last
April 18, a University of the Philippines- Diliman (UPD) student and
Kabataan (Youth) Party-list member was almost abducted on her way home to
Quezon City. The police declared it a robbery. But the Kabataan
Party-list said it is an “attempt by the Arroyo government to rob the
youth of their voice in Congress.”
BY ZOFIA LEAL
As the election
nears, the harassment of progressive party-list members is intensifying.
Last April 18, a University of the Philippines- Diliman (UPD) student and
Kabataan (Youth) Party-list member who wishes to remain anonymous for
security reasons was almost abducted on her way home to Quezon City.
At 12:30 a.m., after
getting off the tricycle she was riding, she noticed that a car was
following her. She then changed direction and walked along a parallel
street but the car still followed her.
When she realized
that the street she was on was dark she tried to go back but the car was
already headed towards her. A man then tried to pull her into the car but
she struggled. A second man also tried to shove her inside the car. She
saw that there were four men in the car. The scene caught the attention
of the tricycle drivers nearby.
As the tricycle
drivers were approaching she heard a man inside the car say, “Pare,
yung cellphone na lang” (Just get the cellphone). She then took her
cellphone and threw it inside the car. The car immediately left. The
incident lasted about 15 minutes.
The tricycle drivers
then assisted her and brought her to the police station. The police
report stated that what happened was a robbery since they took her
UPD Kabataan Partylist Spokesperson said that the incident cannot be a
robbery since the suspects were in a car. Urbiztondo further stated that
it would not be logical for four men inside a car to follow someone just
to rob her cellphone. “It is a clear case of political harassment. The
incident is very similar to recent abduction cases against progressive
party-list members”, Urbiztondo added.
“Since the victim is
a known active member of Kabataan Party-list, this is an attempt to
threaten our members and weaken the machinery of our party-list. Sa
totoo lang, gusto nilang nakawin ang pagkakataon ng kabataan na magkaroon
ng boses sa loob ng Kongreso. (What they really want to do is to rob
the youth of their voice inside Congress). This incident is a
manifestation of a systematic plan of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
and her minions to paralyze her critics and prevent them from having a
seat in the government,” said Urbiztondo.
Urbiztondo then cited
other cases of harassment against Kabataan party-list members in other
regions. According to Urbiztondo, “In Cebu, Kabataan Party-list
coordinator Beethoven Avila, together with Preciousa Daño, a Bayan Muna
(People First) coordinator, were subjected to psychological torture after
they were forced inside a gray Delica van. In La Union, military vehicles
parked outside their headquarters and even took pictures.”
that the military and the government’s efforts to frighten Kabataan
Party-list members are not succeeding. “What they are doing is only
making us stronger and firmer in our resolve to win in this election to
give a voice to the needs of the youth and the people.” Bulatlat
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© 2007 Bulatlat
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